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Blog // Sounds
May 20, 2009

Sibelius 6

Thanks to the review on Create Digitial Music, I’m been walking on clouds all morning. The reason is the release of an upgrade to Sibelius, the music notation programme. Put simply, I’m very excited by the new features and improvements. Over the past few years, Sibelius has become a central part of my daily working […]

Thanks to the review on Create Digitial Music, I’m been walking on clouds all morning. The reason is the release of an upgrade to Sibelius, the music notation programme. Put simply, I’m very excited by the new features and improvements.

Over the past few years, Sibelius has become a central part of my daily working routine. Like every application, there are some things I would love to see changed or at least improved upon. Thankfully, Sibelius have tackled five of my key areas of interest.

DAW Intergration – Currently, there is no intergration between Sibelius and Logic. So, to hear a Sibelius arrangment in Logic I have to export the MIDI, import to Logic and create instruments. Frankly, creating arrangments for exisiting audio this way is convoluted.

Now, Sibelius will run in ReWire mode, so you can hear the Sibelius arrangment in Logic without importing and exporting MIDI. This is a huge bonus for loop based composition, arranging to film and, of course, arranging to exisiting tracks/audio. Moreover, you can now export individual Sibelius instrument arrangements as audio stems, which adds even more flexibility.

Fretboard and Guitar Chords One feature I miss from the old Sibelius G7 product is the fretboard. It made a nice change as an input device, was useful for checking voices and helped a lot in creating chord diagrams. Thankfully, Sibelius 6 brings back this feature, together with some improvements in how chords and chord diagrams are handled and the ability to make above the stave scale diagrams.

Layout Alignment Sibelius is unparalleled in terms of the layout, engraving and publishing control it gives to music copyists. However, some layout issues required a lot of discrete fine tuning, compared to the magnetic object layout we see in other apps (especially from Omni group, for example). Now this has been improved, which will make it much faster to manage the layout of lines, staff text, expression markers and lyrics.

Version Comparision I don’t like saving multiple versions of the same file because it quickly clutters harddrives and folders. But, when composing and arranging, it is sometimes helpful to compare different versions of a tune, especially when working on complex pieces. Sibelius now has a feature to compare versions, complete with editing notes.

Jazz Markers Sibelius already gives you the ability to add marks like falls and droits, as well as create “real book” style repeat bars, but it’s less than intutive. These features are now much easier to use and available direct from the keypad. Also, you can now use half stems to indicate rests on beamed groups of notes, which is my preffered way of notating funk rythmns.

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